If I had a dollar for every time I heard the following from other moms, I would be living in Fiji on a private island:
- “I wish I had that much time on my hands.”
- “I have too many things to do to be on time.”
- “Just wait til you have more kids”
- “You must not have a job!”
- “You have a lot of help. Must be nice”
- “Good for you. I don’t have that kind of time”
It is very sad to me that as a mom who really does have most of her ducks in a row, I get picked on about being prompt and ready for the day. I am sorry if I choose to spend my time making pumpkin waffles, making crafts from Pinterest, painting art for my kid’s room, or just decorating for holidays a little earlier than most. Actually, I need to stop apologizing. It makes me happy. It makes my family happy.
News flash: I don’t always have my “stuff” together, but I do always make sure I do the following so that my life is a little less chaotic and more stress-free:
1. If you are continuously late, make it a point to start your day early.
Wake up an hour before your kids do. Start a routine of waking the kids up earlier. For some, this may be hard. Make it a new habit and give it a try. Waking them up and forcing them to get dressed and rush out the door is not a good way for them to start their day. I make sure my son is up 1 hour before we have to leave so he can watch cartoons, eat breakfast, play, and get dressed to leave on time.
- Start breakfast earlier.
- Dress them earlier.
- Leave earlier.
- Arrive everywhere 15 minutes early.
2. Don’t Procrastinate.
If a project is due in 1 month, pretend it is due next week. Then you won’t need to worry about it again. Waiting until the last minute will cause you stress, which your child(ren) will feed off of. Two stressors don’t make a right.
3. Get a planner/calendar.
Mark it all down. Playdates, doctor’s appointments, etc.
Create a manageable schedule.
Don’t overcommit. I know it can be hard to say no.
4. Layout clothes for the next day.
Seriously, it takes 5 minutes.
5. Prep lunch or snacks for school the night before.
6. Always have snacks.
In your purse.
In your car.
7. Make time for you.
1 hour a week get a massage.
Exercise (I need to take my own advice here)
Walk the dog(s).
8. Most importantly, ask for help when you need it.
So on the days you think a mom’s life is “easy,” just remember that we sometimes wear a disguise. A brave mask. A happy smiling mask. Some of us are good at hiding stress. Some of us are good at putting ourselves together, even when we want to scream. Being a mom is hard enough, why can’t we just be happy for the moms who seem to have figured it out, or figured out a way to make life a little easier. Even if it is just a small effort, why attack? Why not embrace and encourage? Why not ask for advice?
We moms who choose to do that little extra something, leave a little early for carpool, and arrive early to every party are not perfect, but we are good at faking it. Come join us.